Meaning of Life

Dear J-

As always there’s a fair amount of money to be made here. Not here on the everything-is-free blog world (is there even a blog world any more, or will blogs rise in fashion again like a cycling phoenix? let’s consult AOL, altavista, myspace, livejournal, yahoo! …) but … yeah, I’m not sure where I’m going with that. I’m reminded of the cast of villains from Encyclopedia Brown (Sobol), one of whom (Duke? Tiger?) was always running some sort of get-rick-quick scheme which usually involved him getting rich at the expense of Brown’s clients. This is the nature of our society, where we’re convinced that for us to get ahead, it must be at someone else’s loss. I had a boss like that once, and it was uncomfortable feeling as though there was nothing quite good enough short of utter debasement.

I try to remember these lessons as I hopefully take on some different leadership roles; I have to remember how new I was (am) and act accordingly. If that doesn’t work out then there’s something wrong with me, not them; if no one has learned then it’s the teacher’s fault. Win/lose again; we are a very binary culture, and I wonder if that’s rooted in the country’s origins, dating back to the Revolutionary War, or if it’s something inherent in our makeup and we can’t escape it, dating back to the first time we took up arms against each other in the name of some higher cause. These are things too knotty to be unraveled in three paragraphs, after all. Meaning of life stuff. I dont’ know if these thoughts are prompted by creeping thoughts of mortality, either. They certainly don’t help.

Well, there is at least another month of rising earlier and earlier as the days wear on towards the solstice, and now I’m watching the sun rise over San Carlos and Redwood City instead of Mountain View. These are remarkable times; I wouldn’t have thought that a few hundred miles would make the difference in dawns, earlier and earlier and earlier. Then again it’s only a few hundred miles more to Washington State, where I grew up and I remember summer days stretching on forever into the twilight. I got to read to the kids last night in the dusk without turning any lights on; theVet asked me if I was being crazy or masochistic, but no, I just wanted to see what it would be like. Life’s good.

Mike

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